Last new comics day, “Part 2: The Lower Depths,” of John Constantine’s descent into Hell was unleashed on the world. Vertigo Comics started off this “Another Season in Hell” Hellblazer story arc in the last issue #287 (and in a fine manner), You can read my extensive review of Hellblazer #287 right here on ComicBooked.com. Will this installment maintain the great momentum started in the opening issue, or will it be damned? Let’s find out.
Constantine made the journey into the fiery abyss of his own free will, to find and retrieve his sister, in the hopes of helping his niece Gemma. Gem blames her Uncle John for the loss of her mother and is acting out. Constantine’s bitter father-in-law is more than happy to encourage this behavior to get back at John through his niece in one of the worst possible ways, but does not react well when he realizes he is, in fact, the one being used. Hell must not seem so bad after the drama in that family.
At the end of the last issue, John Constantine came face to face with “The First of the Fallen.” Near the start of this issue, we pick up there. John is trying to make a deal to get his sister Cheryl out of Hell, but this is no lowly demon he can pull a fast one on. Cheryl has condemned herself to this fate to be with her husband, who in an ironic twist was, to paraphrase, “a religious nutter” while he was alive and now has no choice in his condemnation. Constantine enters into a “devil’s wager.” If he is able to convince Cheryl to leave her husband in hell, he wins. If he loses, his wife Epiphany’s soul will be the price. This is an interesting issue, and we see how John was cursed and ruining the lives of those around him while he was still in the womb. Constantine will have to face a few more past demons of his own before all is said and done.
While John is occupied in Hell, The First of the Fallen goes topside to work on some deals of his own involving Constantine’s family. It is fun seeing Constantine and The First of the Fallen’s conniving being played out on the page. Who will get the upper hand? Has John Constantine finally met his match? What will become of his loved ones while he is otherwise occupied? I will eagerly be awaiting the next issue of Hellblazer to find out.
So much is happening here I don’t want to spoil for you, so I have glossed over or omitted much in this review. So far, writer Peter Milligan is crafting a compelling story here in “Another Season in Hell.” I did, however, enjoy the first issue a bit more. This extends to the artwork as well. Giuseppe Camuncoli’s art still completely works, but this issue didn’t really have any pages or panels that completely blew me away the way that seeing Constantine enter into Hell in the first issue did. As always, Hellblazer is a series that is consistently good and should be most definitely be read. “Another Season in Hell” is no exception. Be sure to check back in here at ComicBooked.com for a review of the next issue, Hellblazer #289, as well as a review of the new Hellblazer “Phantom Pains” TPB.